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6 Favorite Winter Books for Upper Elementary Students

January 15, 2022 No Comments
winter picture books for elementary students in grades 3, 4, and 5

I’m always excited to get my hands on new picture books to use in the classroom. And the cold winter months are no exception! On the blog today, I’m sharing some of my favorite winter books for upper elementary grades.

These picture books are awesome to use as mentor texts to support reading, writing, and science instruction, to use as engaging read-alouds, or to add to your classroom library!

Snowflake Bentley

"Snowflake Bentley" is a great winter literary nonfiction read-aloud

Snowflake Bentley by Jacqueline Briggs Martin is a fantastic book to use to introduce your students to the literary nonfiction genre. I’ve used it along with a snowflake STEM activity and it was SO much fun! This Caldecott winner will work nicely in your reading lesson plans or in science to support lessons on weather.

Owl Moon

"Owl Moon" is a must-have for grades 3, 4, and 5 teachers

Owl Moon by Jane Yolen is another Caldecott winner and a must-have for every classroom! This tried-and-true mentor text is wonderful for teaching personal narrative (small moments), theme, sensory details, and figurative language.

Over and Under the Snow

"Over and Under the Snow" makes a good mentor text for descriptive nonfiction writing

Over and Under the Snow by Kate Messner explores what animals are doing under the snow as a child plays on top of the snow. The figurative language throughout the story makes this a great pick for mentor sentences, especially if you teach a descriptive writing unit. It would also work well to introduce animal adaptations in science. And even better, it’s part of a series!

Ten Ways to Hear Snow

"Ten Ways to Hear Snow" can be used to teach sensory words

Ten Ways to Hear Snow by Cathy Camper is a beautiful picture book that explores all the sounds you hear after snow has fallen. I loved the use of sensory language in this book as well as the emphasis on family and traditions. This would make an excellent mentor text or interactive read-aloud for students in 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grade.

The Story of Snow: The Science of Winter’s Wonder

"The Story of Snow" is a great nonfiction text to include in your winter books list

The Story of Snow: The Science of Winter’s Wonder by Marc Casino and Jon Nelson is a great nonfiction book to have on hand in the winter months. You can use this book to teach or review skills like using nonfiction text features, asking questions, and using headings and subheadings. It’d also make a great model text for teaching paragraph writing. And it’s a good supplemental trade book to have in your classroom library if you teach the water cycle, precipitation, or severe weather.

First to the Top: Sir Edmund Hillary’s Amazing Everest Adventure

First to the Top: Sir Edmund Hillary’s Amazing Everest Adventure by David Hill is another narrative nonfiction book your students will enjoy this winter. It does have quite a lot of text, and is fact-heavy, but it’s a high-interest topic and a great addition to your bookshelf. It also ties in nicely if you have your students set goals in the new year. Similarly, Helen Thayer’s Arctic Adventure: A Woman and a Dog Walk to the North Pole by Sally Isaacs is another good pick.

More Winter Books for Upper Elementary

Here are a few more favorites that are more for the primary grades but that the bigger kids still love. The stories are simpler but you can still touch on ELA teaching points like sensory language, plot development, drawing conclusions, and more.

There are so many great winter-themed books for kids, but it can be hard to find ones you can use as part of your instruction at the upper elementary level. These winter books for upper elementary grades are ones I hope you’ll love using with your 3rd, 4th, or 5th grade students! Let me know what others you love in the comments!

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